Calorie-Counting Apps, Coca-Growing Locavores, More Creepy Legislation

Categories: Talking Points
Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.

1. Is Meal Snap for real? MobileCrunch just posted word of a new calorie-counting iPhone app called Meal Snap. The premise: You take a picture of a dish, you add a caption, and the photo-recognition software processes the picture and returns an estimate of the calorie content. The app promo copy uses the word "magic" multiple times, which is always a little worrying. No word on whether it can calculate portion size ― which is one of the main factors in figuring out calorie counts ― let alone fat content based just on a picture. I've just shelled out $2.99 and downloaded the app, and will test it today and get my thoughts back to you tomorrow. So far, it has guessed that my morning toast has 227-340 calories (which I think is a little low) and that my banana has 83-125 calories (which seems about right). But I haven't thrown anything more complicated its way.

2. Are these stories for real? The New York Post's article about "New York hillbillies" in New York is like asking cranky Uncle Bob what he thinks of the urban homesteading movement. It's packed with great one-liners like "I'm sort of entertained by people who decide to live in the biggest metropolitan city in the US, only to pretend like they're living on some farm in Minnesota." And my old paper, the Seattle Weekly, uh, profiles an underground restaurateur who kills bulls with brass knuckles and processes locally grown coca leaves into his own drugs.

3. Is the government for real? Minnesota becomes the third state to introduce a bill making it illegal for activists to surreptitiously film factory farms. This movement is getting creepy. Is the copycat legislation a grassroots movement or is it centrally organized, like the attack on collective bargaining rights?

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Olivia Sanders
Olivia Sanders

As someone who has used almost EVERY single weight loss and diet iPhone app in the Health and Fitness Category. I can say that I was LESS THAN IMPRESSED with lose it app. I find myself half the time having to enter in a "custom food" because it's not in their comprehensive database. frustrating, and then i stop using it because this happens day in an day out. In my opinion **THE BEST** iPhone diet app is hands down intelli-Diet! It just takes the thinking out of the equation and I just eat what it says. Down 12 pounds in a few weeks! I believe it’s sixty percent off now too so you should check it out before meal snap! is their link.

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